7.3/10
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53 user 20 critic

Tea and Sympathy (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 5 November 1956 (France)
A new senior at a boy's prep school, finds himself harassed by the machismo culture of his classmates and the unfeelingly behavior by his father, only being treated with decency by his roommate and with affection by the coach's wife.

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writers:

Robert Anderson (screenplay), Robert Anderson (based on the play by)
Reviews
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Deborah Kerr ... Laura Reynolds
John Kerr ... Tom Robinson Lee
Leif Erickson ... Bill Reynolds
Edward Andrews ... Herb Lee
Darryl Hickman ... Al
Norma Crane ... Ellie Martin
Dean Jones ... Ollie
Jacqueline deWit ... Lilly Sears
Tom Laughlin ... Ralph
Ralph Votrian ... Steve
Steven Terrell Steven Terrell ... Phil
Kip King ... Ted
Jimmy Hayes Jimmy Hayes ... Henry
Richard Tyler Richard Tyler ... Roger
Don Burnett ... Vic
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Storyline

Tom Lee is a sensitive boy of 17 whose lack of interest in the "manly" pursuits of sports, mountain climbing and girls labels him "sister-boy" at the college he is attending. Head master Bill Reynold's wife Laura sees Tom's suffering at the hands of his school mates (and her husband), and tries to help him find himself. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where does a woman's sympathy leave off -- and her indiscretion begin?

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bringing the play to the screen resulted in a years-long struggle with the production code office and the Catholic National Legion of Decency because of the play's inclusion of homosexuality, adultery and prostitution. At one point there was consideration that the film be produced by an independent production company outside of the studio system. See more »

Goofs

While Tom Lee (Class of 1946) is still in school, Laura Reynolds drives a 1950 Dodge. See more »

Quotes

Tom Lee: I'm always falling in love with the wrong people.
Laura Reynolds: Who isn't?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: Tea and Empathy (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

The Joys of Love
Written by G.B. Martini and Richard Dyer-Bennett
Performed by John Kerr (dubbed by Gene Merlino)
Song based on "Plaisir d'Amour"
See more »

User Reviews

 
Brilliant
22 June 2004 | by Marie-62See all my reviews

Deborah Kerr has always been one of the best actresses. Her beauty and wit have always gotten her pretty well rounded roles. "Tea and Sympathy" has done something else for her...It has made her a real human that we can all identify with and understand. She captured your attention with her every second on the screen. John Kerr, as Tom Lee, (the main character) is simply in the backdrop, carrying the story along as best he can. Within him we see a ridiculed boy whose over-femininity makes him the joke of his school. Even the teachers seem to gang up on him. Known as "Sister-boy Lee" he tries to 'become' a man, only to let himself down further. He is soon pitied and taken in by Laura Reynolds, the school master's wife, who is told to "Stay out" because she's not really "involved". The truth is she is deeply involved...Her husband is the main reason for this kid's pain. I don't want to spoil the ending for you so I will say this...Vincente Minnelli is a brilliant director. Deborah Kerr is a wonderful actress who's inner beauty matches her physical beauty. John Kerr really shines. This movie is worth seeing. It does skirt the topic of homophobia but it tells the story that we (when we were teens) can all tell, trying to accept who we are and not trying to be what we aren't.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1956 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Tea and Sympathy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,737,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »

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